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Published

22 May 2023

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Pouring tea from a teapot is one of life’s great pleasures, but not all teapots are created equal, so what makes a good teapot?

Choosing a good teapot goes beyond aesthetics. Size is an important consideration, especially as we are all counting the pennies these days; no one wants to waste tea. I have a small teapot that I tend to use for breakfast during the week. I find that two spoons of tea in this smaller pot make just enough tea (usually three cups), especially if I’m eating something filling like porridge or bircher muesli. If it’s the weekend or a friend calls by for tea, I use a larger one and three spoons of tea.

I find when using good quality loose tea, the ‘rule’ of one per person and one for the pot is wasteful. I like strong tea and find two for a small pot, three for a medium and four for a larger one sufficient. The key is to allow the tea to ‘brew’ for at least five minutes. Your patience will be rewarded! 

It’s not just the size of a teapot, but its material too. A silver or silver plate teapot makes excellent tea because it keeps it warm. This is the same for all metal teapots. 

You can also ‘warm the pot’ before making, and the metal retains the heat, meaning when the water is poured in, it isn’t cooled down too much. A silver teapot also keeps the tea hot, essential if – like me – you are from the North.

A bone china teapot might seem like a good choice, but the thinness on the body means it will lose heat quickly; an earthenware teapot (pottery) with its thicker body is a better choice for those who like very hot tea. 

Finally, always look for a spout grid. This is the pierced section between the body and the spout. It holds back the bigger tea leaves but is essential if you use tea bags. Many modern teapots lack them, and tea bags get stuck in the spout causing the tea to dribble out of the lid when poured – not nice!

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